Using a sample of Australian Securities Exchange Ltd. (ASX) 500 firms over the 2004–2020 period, we find that contracting on corporate social responsibility (CSR) increases the likelihood of CSR restatements and that these restatements are biased toward showing improvements in CSR performance for the current period. This is especially the case when firms contract on social CSR performance measures. We also find that CEOs’ short-term incentive compensation is significantly greater when restatements result in improved comparative performance, but only for firms that contract on CSR. Overall, our results suggest that contracting on CSR is another explanation for the increasing prevalence of CSR restatements and that standard setters should address metrics and measures when formulating policies with respect to CSR reporting.
Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.
JEL Classifications: M12; M14; M52.